Jean Sawyer Hayes, alphabet news anchor Diane Sawyer"s mother and also the mam of E.P. "Tom" Sawyer, has passed away in Louisville in ~ 94.

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A public leader and longtime elementary college teacher, Hayes had been ok for some time and also passed away on Wednesday.

Diane Sawyer said in a quick phone interview Thursday morning the her mommy was a force of nature, optimistic, spunky and also energetic — features that served her fine working with young children.

Years after her three decades in the classroom, her previous students stopped her top top the street, in restaurants and at the grocery store to call of her impact. "Her students by the hundreds to be jolted right into the possibilities of your lives," Sawyer said. "She was a pioneering spirit."

Hayes, a aboriginal of Monticello, Ky., regularly was viewed out v her famed daughter as soon as Sawyer visited Louisville for private trips and TV assignments, consisting of a stop four years back to tape a report on the ways local businesses whereby Sawyer prospered up were managing the economy.


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Hayes" so late husband, Erbon powers "Tom" Sawyer to be a former Jefferson ar attorney and judge-executive. A Republican, he served from his appointment in 1963 till his death in a car accident in September 1969. The 550-acre state park in eastern Louisville was called for him.

The former Jean Dunagan to be born in 1920 and also grew up on the family"s Wayne county farm. She met she husband, a other Western Kentucky university student, once the two were acquisition summer great at lindsay Wilson College.


Hayes"s roommate to be Sawyer"s sister, and also she made an prompt impression as the prettiest girl ~ above campus, the so late Sawyer once told The snucongo.org. They married in 1939.

Jean Sawyer earn her education and learning degree and taught at several elementary schools, consisting of Gideon Shryock ~ above Browns Lane, while her husband climbed the ranks. She explained teaching together "one that the nicest things you deserve to do."


Diane was she pupil in third grade in ~ the former Melbourne Heights and also her mommy said that while it wasn"t the "best case ... Ns treated her simply exacly prefer the various other students. Days go by as soon as I didn"t even think of her as being my daughter."

In the same 1963 newspaper profile on an achieved local family, enlarge daughter Linda Sawyer to be then runner-up because that the 1961 Junior miss out on America and a sophomore in ~ Wellesley College.

Diane to be a an elderly at Seneca High, winner that the 1963 nationwide Junior miss pageant and headed off shortly to join her sister at Wellesley. Diane Sawyer would later on return come Louisville, came to be the "weather girl" in ~ WLKY and jumped to the White home press staff before returning to tv news.

Linda Sawyer Frankel became a fashion editor in ~ Vogue magazine in new York. The later came to be an heralding executive in Miami.

As youngsters, neither girl was allowed to pat with ar friends until she finished practicing the piano. Going stable with boys additionally was nixed, a rule the parents explained didn"t create drama since their daughters were too busy through school, church and other activities.

"We space this type of family members ... We didn"t send them to Sunday School, us went through them. Whenever they had a problem, it to be our problem. If a school job meant chasing dragonflies, us chased dragonflies," Hayes said then.

Republican Gov. Louie Nunn appointed Jean Sawyer the chairwoman of the 24-member Kentucky board of directors on ladies which operated to to mark women"s problems — the require for education, same employment opportunities and also day care for youngsters of functioning mothers.

She quit after 11 months, citing the lack of funding and support because that the the supervisory board by Kentucky legislators.

The elder Sawyer remarried in 1975 to beam Hayes, a psychiatrist and also one-time superintendent of main State Hospital. She was widowed a 2nd time in 1997.

Five year ago, Hayes donated $1 million come match an additional $1 million native the state to construct a community facility at the park to honor her late husbands.


"After every these years, she to be still an extremely much plugged in come what was going top top there," stated park manager Clay Foreman.

Frankel and also Sawyer remained close to their mother, talking daily in between monthly visits to Louisville. Hayes, meanwhile, preserved in close call with dozens the cousins, nieces, nephews and grandchildren, Frankel said.

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"She was yes, really the facility of our lives," Frankel said. "She was constantly the one that world called then they wanted good advice, or help with anything. She to be so capable and also concerned, and also really specialized to her family."

A visitation is scheduled from 3 come 8 p.m. Friday at Pearson"s Funeral Home, 149 Breckenridgle Lane, in St. Matthews. Private services will follow.